State of the Economy Update: Retail Sales
For a second consecutive month, U.S. Retail sales were disappointing as total sales in May rose by just 0.3 percent.
The level was below the consensus estimate for an increase of 0.5 percent and was also below April’s revised level of 0.5 percent (from 0.1 percent).
Last six month readings: April: +0.5 percent, March: +1.5 percent, February: +0.7 percent, January 2014: -0.6 percent, December: -0.1 percent, November: +0.4 percent.
Excluding the sale of autos (which can be quite volatile), sales gains gained just +0.1 percent. This was also below the consensus estimate of +0.4 percent and last month’s revised reading of +0.4 percent (revised from 0.0 percent).
Last six month readings: April: 0.4 percent, March: +1.0 percent, February: +0.3 percent, January 2014: -0.3 percent, December: +0.7 percent, November: +0.7 percent October: +0.5 percent.
In sum, some of the sting from last month’s huge disappointment was removed as April’s numbers were revised higher.
However, May’s numbers (which are subject to revision) were again on the lackluster side and do not support the view that the economy is accelerating at a pace faster than anticipated.
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